World's Tallest Maple Discovery of 2012
1st measurement 157.80 ft. | 48.09 m. tall - - - 2nd measurement 11/2014 was 160.43 ft.
Acer Macrophyllum ... "Humboldt Honey"
Copyright 2012 -2016 by M. D. Vaden
July 19, 2012, I spotted a tall Bigleaf Maple in the Coast Redwood forest near Avenue of the Giants of Humboldt Redwoods State Park. A quick hand-held laser measurement implied a possible new world record height for Acer. Acer is the species name for maples.
My next visit was the morning of October 2012. I returned for an accurate measurement using an Impulse 200LR laser rangefinder mounted on a tripod. The measurement was 157.80 feet for height. The trunk circumference was 9.50 ft..
Indeed, a new world record for maples.
The Maple was named "Humboldt Honey"
That established this as the tallest known of the Acer (maple) genus in the United States - - - and apparently in the world.
Washington had one reported around 160 ft. once, but very reliable sources say it was closer to 148 ft..
The tallest maple in the east USA was a red maple measured at 143.6 ft. (2007) by Will Blozan & Jeff Riddle. That one was in the Great Smokey Mountains.
More discoveries should be out there for the finding. And I hope other people can find a few more this height or even taller. I suspect maples this tall will be in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, or possibly Washington's Olympic National Forest.
Prairie Creek may hold a hidden surprise, and I've seen a few scatttered maples in hidden pockets distant from trails. But most of those were under 100 feet tall.
Why was "Humboldt Honey" named Humboldt Honey?
It's a simple connect-the-dots thing related to scouting portraiture locations, plus the woman shown in the image to the right. She was photographed the day after the discovery, in Eureka as well as redwood forest near this bigleaf maple.
The photo below shows trunk, leaf and laser aimed to the top. The 149.98 is just the amount of trunk above the laser. Once the trunk below the laser was added, the total was 157.80 ft..
For other tallest finds, take a moment to read other discoveries.
In November, 2012, I returned when golden autumn leaf color provided a better opportunity to look for a taller stem or branch. This trip confirmed that the tallest part of this maple was the part measured during the earlier October visit.
I also found a 143 ft. maple during the November, 2012 trip. And that not more than two miles away. Also along Avenue of the Giants. The next tallest I'm aware of in the Coast Redwood parks is about 130 ft., across the Avenue of the Giants from Founders Grove.
Out of curiosity, I checked out the flat at the bottom of the trail in Redwood National Park. There's a big group of large Bigleaf Maples there. The area was suggested by Michael Taylor, as having large maples. Most were only 80 to 100 ft.. Big, but not extremely tall.